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Never wear dresses - beginners help!

47 replies

shopafrolic · 20/02/2012 08:34

Hello - I'm 5ft 9 with fair skin and shortish dark hair, size 12-14 and am turning 40 this year. My DS is 1 so I am spending all my time running around after him and having given up work I need to reassess my wardrobe.
Have always been terrified of dresses. Everytime I wear one I get greeted with cries of "OMG - you've got legs!" and I get put off wearing them.
Am fine with smart dresses but have never cracked day to day casual. Can anyone recommend a daytime dress for spring that I could 'throw on'?
Have always hoped to rock a floral number with boots and a biker jacket but every time I try floral I cringe!
I tend to live in skinny jeans, converse, long tees etc. and buy a lot of my clothes from GAP and French Connection.
Any tips or ideas gratefully received!

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justabigdisco · 20/02/2012 09:19

Hi - no help from me I'm afraid but will watch with interest as I'm just the same! Jeans/converse my uniform of choice! Smile

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mirpuppet · 20/02/2012 10:04

I like simple dresses that you can make look different with necklaces and scarves like the ones from COS

www.cosstores.com/Store/Women/Dresses/46881.1

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shopafrolic · 20/02/2012 19:11

Thanks mirpuppet - I was hoping I"d come back from the shops to a wealth of inspiration but it's seemingly not to be! I"m new to Mumsnet - is it always this quiet or am I wording this wrongly? Perhaps everyone is living in Converse & skinnies Grin

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SherlockHolmes · 20/02/2012 19:19

I'm trying to do the same, but struggling; partly because I'm a size 16 top and 14 bottom, so dresses don't always fit too well. At the moment I have a straight, thick black jersey knee-length skirt, with a black cardigan or jumper, thick black tights and boots. This seems to work in the same way as a dress, so thought I might try it in different colours.

Also, was looking at the Matalan website and they had some quite nice dresses in their sale here. Don't know what the quality is like, but might be worth trying?

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shopafrolic · 20/02/2012 19:48

Thanks SherlockHolmes - i quite like this one:-
www.matalan.co.uk/fcp/product/fashion-to-buy-online/-Dresses/Butterfly-Tunic-Dress-In-Black/49478&resultsPerPage=100&attrList=Dept,brand
I think I still think I'm a 25 year old festival goer when I actually I need to realise that I'm 40 this year. So need to stop wishing I looked like Kate Moss at Glastonbury and realise I probably actually look more like her mum!!
Can 39 year olds do the dress, biker boots and jacket thing?

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mirpuppet · 20/02/2012 19:59

Can 39 year olds do the dress, biker boots and jacket thing?

Of course.

Don't know why this thread is so quiet -- might be another one with links to dresses around.

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shopafrolic · 20/02/2012 20:06

In that case I'm off to hunt for it! I refuse to live in skinnies for the rest of my life!

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BelleTheBeatnik · 21/02/2012 18:44

You're tall enough to pull of a good midi dress effortlessly (jealous!) so I'd definitely recommend one; they look elegant and if you're a bit of a newcomer to dresses it might be best not to just be thrown in at the deep end with a mini.

PLEASE try out the floral dress/biker boots/jacket, I'm sure it'll look lovely on you. Loud prints can be a bit scary at first but your worries will melt away with all the compliments you'll be getting. Grin

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louby78 · 21/02/2012 19:21

My mum is 59 and has the most amazing figure. She's very elegant and stylish and I had this discussion with her as she was worried about being too old for a certain style (in this case it was burgundy skinnies!) I told her to imagine some of the most stylish women of her age or older and if they pull it off she can (think Lulu, Mary Portas etc) so I would say you can defo wear dress, biker boots and a jacket!

I am the same though. I'm 34 with 2 young children and I too live in skinny jeans, boots or converse in the summer! My DS is 14 months and I've just stopped BFing so am looking more into dresses which I couldn't wear easily last year without taking access into consideration!!! I'm watching this thread with interest!

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CountessOlenska · 21/02/2012 19:25

I am even older and do that look s lot( tho for some reason can't do leather jacket, just look oddGrin)

There are loads of lovely floral dresses around just now. And also prints like birds- I have a navy dress with cream birds which i have worn loads over the past couple of years.

I would look at asos for some inspiration. They have loads of dresses at cheap prices so you can try out the look easily.

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RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie · 21/02/2012 19:27

Have you actually seen any nice little floral dresses for slinging on under a biker jacket? I spent all last summer trying to find one, to no avail.

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CountessOlenska · 21/02/2012 19:40

Just had a quick look, and River Island and Oasis both have quite a few pretty ones online.

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RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie · 21/02/2012 19:50

Thanks - will have a look. I never go in RI and Oasis dresses usually far too polyester-y for my liking - but will take a peek online now. My problem at 42 is that I still want to wear the kinds of things I wore as a teenager (well, some of them) but I want the quality to be a zillion times better and can't afford the price to also be that!

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CountessOlenska · 21/02/2012 19:53

Can be quite polyestery Smile. I accept it as so easy to wash and dry, no ironing. Have a toddler too!

However, I did get a lovely print Mint Velvet dress in the sale last summer which is silk. Very fond of it.

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mumofjust1 · 21/02/2012 20:14

I would love to wear a dress day to day but don't have the confidence, don't know what suits me and can't find tights to fit me coz I'm short and fat Sad

Will watch with interest tho

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Jellykat · 21/02/2012 20:21

I'm older then you, and do the floral dress, boots thing.. Love wearing skinnies with a nice thin, but heavy in weight dress, so it hangs nicely..You can go shorter then too.. Wouldn't do a biker jacket anymore as such, but love 50s type fitted or box jackets.

I like some of the things on that COS site mirmuppet, nicely cut and not a bad price, thanks for the link!

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shopafrolic · 21/02/2012 21:10

Oooo - how lovely to come back to this and find more ideas! I reposted a new thread yesterday as this had gone quiet!!
Countess - I like the bird prints that are around so will take a look.
Remus - I'm with you. Polyester makes me all hot and bothered and I do still wish I could wear some of the gear I wore when younger.
Would love to see some links to other ideas for dresses if anyone has any. I liked the Cos website for the simplicity but wanted a little more pattern I think......the search continues....

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herewegoloopyloo · 21/02/2012 21:24

I have relatively recently been one over to the power, ease and style of dresses and now I love, love, love them. I can't pull off floral (think the pattern too fussy for me, although I am not that big). Ditto very flouncy dresses/ Try knitted dresses (don't need to be thick) or jumper dresses which can also be worn with gilet, scarves or biker jacket, thick tights and boots. Make sure the dress is not too long (needs to be above knee - go as short as you reasonably dare). Loving Mango and Phase eight at present. Great Plains good. White stuff - can be. White Company - pricey and plain but can be good.

Just go for it. WIll liberate your wardrobe!

www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Mango+Striped+dress/164278690,default,pd.html
www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Mango+Stripes+dress/163030285,default,pd.html

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NatureAbhorsAHoover · 21/02/2012 21:25

Do you live near London? If you go into Anthropologie they help you pick out dresses that might suit you (they really listen) and then give reasonably honest opinions when you twirl around in your dressing room (they write your name on the door!!Grin). I love it. Is a bit £££ but has good sales. Start with a look on the website //www.anthropologie.eu, I find day dresses really impossible but have found some lovely ones here.

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shopafrolic · 21/02/2012 21:29

Nature - I'm 25 mins out of town. Can't access link from BB at mo - where is this dream store?!!

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suebfg · 21/02/2012 21:34

Check out Phase Eight - they have a gorgeous stripy tunic/dress - approx £55. The material is fab and it fits really well.

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mirpuppet · 21/02/2012 21:39

anthropologie is very nice & very pricey. But the good news is that because some women are obsessed by it some devote their blogs to reviewing all the clothes they try on at anthropologie and post pictures they have taken in dressing rooms. It's a cult. I tried to buy one dress that thought would be ideal for me but didn't get there in time all sold out.

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sodapops · 21/02/2012 21:39

I like Dorothy Perkins for dresses, TBH. I am wearing some of their knitted ones at the moment. I am older than you and practically live in dresses, biker boots and jackets!

There is another thread running on DP's dresses that has codes for free delivery and 25% off IIRC.

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RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie · 21/02/2012 21:53

Anthro is on Regent Street and has a v cool grass wall BUT it is fiendishly expensive and perhaps a bit twee. I love twirling around in there but have never bought anything and think a lot of the dresses are v cheap and flimsy looking for the price.

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Clure · 21/02/2012 22:31
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